Saving (your) Face: When a Bargain really isn’t.
By Dr. Davila
The arrival of injectable treatments for facial rejuvenation has made it possible to maintain a youthful appearance without the time investment and upfront cost of a surgical procedure. As these less invasive treatments have become popular there has also been an increase in offers for “bargains” and not always by qualified or well-trained practitioners. I have had the occasional patient inform me that they have friends that get their fillers done more cheaply, but not by a doctor, or sometimes at a salon or someone’s home. When I ask the pointed question, “why are you not doing it as well?”, the answer is invariably “because I don’t want to take chances with my face” or “because I want it done right.”
The bargain hunting is not limited to injectable procedures. On a larger scale, searching for a cheap deal on cosmetic surgery often takes patients abroad for the procedure and short vacation for recovery under a package price. Several reports and warnings have been written about the medical tourism industry after an increase in atypical infections seen in abdominoplasty patients days or weeks after returning to the US. I personally had the experience of taking a patient twice to the operating room to clear a difficult infection acquired after having a procedure in the Caribbean, I’ll never forget the tone of regret in her voice while we were waiting to go into the room. The medical tourism industry will lure bargain shoppers with the promise of lower cost surgery while skirting the very real issue of surgical complications. As patients are left to find help on their own for problems that occur beyond the few-day stay included with the package, the result can be life-threatening health problems or at the very least rapidly accumulating costs for treating the complications which may involve further surgery and/or a hospital stay.
Building a relationship with a local surgeon is always optimal, whether it is for surgery or well balanced injections for the face. An ongoing relationship helps the surgeon gain a better understanding of the patient’s aesthetic needs and desires and it helps the patient build trust and peace of mind that they are in good hands. With 20 years of combined experience, the two board certified plastic surgeons at Esana have developed some great long lasting relationships with patients across all range of procedures. It is difficult to place a price on the comfort of a familiar face or the reassurance that you know what you’re getting. All these longstanding relationships start with the same first step: an initial consultation that will inform you of the available options and the associated prices. Groupon and deep discounts for mass buying are better left to things like gardening equipment or Zumba classes but not your face.